A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Friday, April 30, 2010

It'll Save Your Marriage


In this day and age when the sacred institution of marriage (because, really, what else can you call that fucking straightjacket that allows everybody else to opine about who you fuck or don't) appears to be under increasing threat by all teh GHEY (I mean, SRSLY, peeps, WTF is with politicians claiming other politicians are claiming [or refusing to claim] sexual preferences to which they may or may not be entitled?) — well, you get my drift, don't you?

Anything that can save marriage from the onslaught of the Catholic church and the like should be welcomed with open arms by all, yes?

After all, the minute we give in to those bad, immoral, naughty, gay people, whether they live inside or outside our heads, we're all headed to perdition.

So here's one for all those guys who've been dutching their long-suffering partners for years.

Assuming they're not dutching you. Finally, a good night's sleep. Go for it, kids, you know you want to.

Who thinks up things like these?

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Steve Poizner on This American Life

This weekend's edition of This American Life had a great segment about one of the California gubernatorial candidates in the primary for the Republican Party: Steve Poizner. If you want to listen to the episode, there's a link here.

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, investigates Poizner's stories about Mount Pleasant High School in San Jose, California. Poizner wrote a book about his experiences teaching at the high school. He characterized the high school and surrounding area as very dangerous. Glass questions this. (And so do many of the parents, students, and residents! Why is it that some -- too many -- middle and upper class people walk into a working class neighborhood and characterize it as dangerous?) Glass even interviews the police to see if the statistics hold up this notion of it being dangerous. He finds out that the high school and surrounding area is average. So, why would Poizner write about it in this way?

I urge you to listen to the broadcast -- even if you aren't voting in California. There are some very interesting stories in there.

Here's a very interesting page -- "What's That Smell?" -- with some facts and statistics that you might want to read before casting your vote for Poizner.

All around general overview of the gubernatorial race is on Wikipedia here.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010



Yes, spring is finally here (reality check: there will be more rain!), and the flowers are blooming and the trees are rustling and raining down scented flower petals, and the weeds are growing faster than I can keep up, and would you believe all our lazy louts are fast asleep in bed?

Geeze. Good thing we don't pay them a wage for this disgraceful behaviour. Buncha fucking louts.

Given that I've had a shitty time trying to sleep for about a year now because they MUST examine the replaced knee daily, and poke it (with claws), bite it (yes, really), jump on it, and sleep on it, I really ought to shake out the covers and scream at the top of my lungs, "Wakey, wakey, the sun's burnin' yer eyes out, ya great spalpeens!"

Fair's fair, and all that. OTOH, the little bastids will just wait till I pass out from exhaustion tonight before doing the horizontal mamba all over me.

I mean, so far, I've had: hair licked, nose bitten, stomach leapt on, legs scratched (through layers of covers and pjs), ass bitten, face clawed, hands and feet shredded, and eyelids licked. Wool mice stuck in bedroom slippers. Spit-covered foam balls in robe pockets. I'm waiting for the mouse in the backpack. They haven't figured that one out yet. (They did put enormous eucalyptus borer beetles in my gardening boots one year. That was interesting.)

Eh! It's time to rip the weeds up before they turn into a fire hazard, might's well let the li'l guys sleep. Enjoy your caturday, all!

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Arizona, Land of Teh Demented

and home of the cowering racists.


Yup, they did it. The state of Arizona passed SB1070, giving regular police officers the right to request documentation from people to ascertain their immigration status. What does this mean? It means every brown person in or passing through the state of Arizona is liable to be stopped by some dinky asshole like Joe Arpaio who might feel like a little grandstanding and harassment.

Is the legislature of Arizona so fucking demented and stupid that it thinks pissing off Latinos/Latinas is a good idea?

Rhetorical question. Obviously, it does.

Well, you dumbshits, consider that any decent person, regardless of their ethnicity or skin colour, must take issue with a law so blatantly unjust and unfair, and unconstitutional on its face. And consider that any person who is not white is far more likely to be stopped than any person who is not. And consider that there are many light-skinned Europeans here who have "overstayed" their tourist visas, who rarely, if ever, get stopped and asked for their papers. And that the original inhabitants of your benighted state, of whom there are still quite a few residing there, happen to look quite similar to the people that you will be profiling under this new law, irony of ironies.

If the Native people had passed an immigration law like this, none of y'all would be sitting on these shores yawping about how you need to keep their relatives out of what has now become your country.

And since arguments about human rights and Constitutionality and racial discrimination and profiling don't move you, consider this: you're about to lose a large proportion of your already brutally exploited undocumented labour force. This should translate into high prices for produce (who the fuck do you think picks your goddamn tomatoes and lettuce?) as well as for heavy labour. Say goodbye to your maids, gardeners, dishwashers, busboys, waitrons, casual labour, at low, low wages. Say hello to paying a fair wage for a fair day's work, and, yeah, food prices are going up again, so maybe this will help your goddamned diet?

In the interest of helping Arizonans stay thin and focused, this blog highly recommends you hie thee over to this here site and boycott Arizona until they figure out that they're violating the Constitution themselves (14th Amendment thereto), and that their very attempt to regulate immigration is a further violation of the Constitution, as this is an issue for the Federal Government to decide. Funny how all those Tenth Amendment States' Righters are keeping their fetid gobs shut about this one.

Must be too difficult to talk out both sides of one's neck on this issue, eh?

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Any Sane Republicans Left?

I know I've asked this before, but the latest wave of Republican KrayZ has me mind boggling aboot like a boggle in a bog. And I mean bog in the worst way.

No, srsly. Lookit dis one:

Chicken Sue

This here crazy-eyed person is the latest in the Republican Trifecta of KrayZ Wimmen Running 4 Ofc. (The other two being Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.) Now, don't go thinking that we at this fine blog gratuitously insult people at random. While it's true that we insult people as often as we can in as vituperative a manner as we can manage, it's never gratuitous. And none has worked harder to earn our coming vituperation and open mockery as Chicken Sue Lowden.

See, Susie here is running against Harry Reid of Nevada. I'm not wild about Harry Reid. But he seems to be a hardworking soul, if somewhat timid and obsessed with procedural detail. Still, he does get things done, and he does seem to have some basic common sense and decency. Also, and this is important in this era of the Holy Trinity (Palin, Bachmann, and Lowden), he is not crazy.

Susie, on the other hand, well, now, let's just say she might someday give Michelle B a run for her money in the "aliens have eaten my brain" category of KrayZ. See, Susie wants to repeal the recently passed health care reform — that part's OK, all the Republicans are yowling about repealing health care reform — and she proposes that we replace our current vastly inadequate system of payments for health care with individual barter. For example, says Sue, you could pay your doctor with chickens.

I'm trying to envision what the fuck my surgeon would have done with all the chickens he would've had to charge me for my recent knee replacement. Is this woman serious? Is she for real? How many chickens for the anesthetist? The attending nurses? The surgical team? Surely we'd need someone to manage the paperwork. And what about chicken transport? Sanitation laws?

Waitafuckinminnit, she's got ME doing it. Goddammit. The danger of actually trying to understand the KrayZ of KrayZ people is, you could go KrayZ too.

So. Some kind souls have created a site that allows you to specify how many chickens, or whatever, you can barter for treatment of your ailments. You can send your letter to Sue Lowden and she can help you find someone who will treat you for the specified number of bib jeans. Or whatever.

Bib jeans are very in these days, I hear. Tres chic. All the rage. Good luck.

OK, the KrayZ keeps snowballing. Some Republican dipwad from TN now wants to ensure vegan and vegetarian doctors will be permitted in this barter system. How many parsnips for a hangnail? What if your doctor wants mangoes from Fortnum & Mason?

Where the fuck do they find these dim bulbs, anyway?

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I Always Said Yoo Was A Bumwad

Photo from Gawker

And now activist Matt Cornell has given us Yoo toilet paper to remind students and visitors alike to Boalt Hall's terlets that Yoo has treated the United Nations Convention Against Torture, ratified by the United States in 1987 (under St. Ronald of Reagan? Can it be?), as his own personal bumwad.

Pity the TP doesn't have his likeness printed on it, but I understand those colored dyes ain't too good for your bunghole anyway.

Feel free to visit Mr. Cornell's site to find out more about what you can do to fight against the use of torture.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jon Stewart Said It For Me!

Oh, man, this is the kind of stuff that makes you laugh so hard you pee yourself. So please. Go take a leak before you watch.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Thank you Comedy Channel! This has to be the best Daily Show ep ever.

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Politics: OUR Free Speech Is More Important

than YOUR free speech.

And here we have the Teabagger, Obstreperous albus, in all its native glory — where glory equals ignorance, of course.

Obviously, not a single one of these yobs pays taxes. If they did, they would have noticed, while filling in the forms, that they're getting shitloads of money back from the government.

They don't want taxes, but they want a strong defense. They're protesting high taxes but they don't want to cut teachers' salaries. How do they think such things are paid for? Do they have the first fucking clue?

Readers, these are rhetorical questions. This video clip proves that they do not think, and they do not have the first fucking clue, either. Nor even the twenty-five-hundredth.

Kudos to NewLeft Media for this fine YouTube production.

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Politics: Freedom of Speech Is Important

... ONLY if we're the ones practicing it.

Photo from Rick Kaempfer's fine blog

Is anybody surprised? Teabaggers are only pro-free speech when it's their free speech at stake.

Your free speech? Hey, fuck you very much. And fuck your free speech too. In fact, if we don't like what you're saying, we reserve the right to call your employer and make such a fuss that they fire you.

The Huffington Post is reporting that firing was the fate of the unfortunate D.C. Douglas, an actor who does voice-overs for Geico. Well, did. Thanks to his call to the FreeDUMBWorks astroturf pseudo-TP (that's Tea Party for those who had their minds someplace grubbier), Mr. Douglas has been fired by Geico.

Well, Geico, you could — and should — have handled this much better. I know I won't be doing business with you ever again if I can avoid it.

If you feel the same way about this ridiculous foofaraw, please feel free to call Freedom works (yeah, right, for whom?) toll-free at 1.888.564.6273.

Update: Mr. Douglas is requesting that people do NOT contact Geico, with whom he says he has an amicable relationship. Therefore, I am removing the contact information for them. Even if I still think they could have handled this better.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Catholic Church: Time For Women To Take Over!

(c) 2008 K Smokey Cormier

Yes, it's time:
  • For decades church leaders kept horrific tales of abuse out of the public eye through an elaborate culture of secrecy, deception, and intimidation. Victims who came forward with abuse claims were ignored or paid off, while accused priests were quietly transferred from parish to parish or sent for brief periods of psychological counseling.
  • Catholic Church Inundated with Sexual Abuse Allegations
  • As the Vatican announced Friday that Pope Benedict XVI has signed a pastoral letter about Ireland's abusive priests, it became increasingly clear that the church abuse crisis has entered a new international phase, with allegations spreading across a half dozen countries -- including the pope's native Germany.The Norwegian Catholic Church said Friday it was aware of four more potential sexual abuse cases by priests against minors, two days after it revealed that a bishop who resigned last year did so after abusing an altar boy.
  • Alleged misconduct by Catholic priests continues to surface and the church is struggling to contain the damage. VOA's Mariana Schroeder looks at how these allegations are haunting the church in Germany, the pope's homeland.
  • "Now we have obvious confirmation that this is a global crisis," said John Allen, CNN's Vatican analyst and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. "Anywhere there is a substantial Catholic population there is the potential for this type of scandal."
  • Sexual abuse of children by priests has been brought to light in a number of countries, but the recent apologies from the Vatican are “too little too late”. At least, that is the opinion of Yvo van Kuijck, former chairman of the independent Assessment and Advisory Committee (Beoordelings- en Adviescommissie, BAC) which cooperates with Hulp & Recht, the Netherlands’ hotline for reporting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Since it was set up in 1995, the hotline has received almost 300 reports of sexual abuse. “It has taken too long for the Church to apologise and take action. (…) The Dutch bishops adopted the same ‘wait and see’ approach. I didn’t get the impression that dealing with sexual abuse was a priority for them." Two years ago, dissatisfied with the attitude taken by the Dutch bishops, Yvo van Kuijck, now vice-president of the District Court in Arnhem, resigned along with the entire Assessment and Advisory Committee. Priests guilty of abuse in one parish were simply transferred to another parish where they were free to find new victims. "Not only is that unprofessional, it’s inconceivable."
  • Trailblazing work done by Canadian investigators into Church sex abuse goes all but unnoticed by Catholic Church worldwide.
  • A priest who admitted indecently assaulting deaf boys at a school in Yorkshire has been allowed to remain as a cleric, it can be revealed, as the scandal over abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church moves to Britain.
  • As clergy sex abuse scandals in Europe made headlines worldwide, bishops in Latin America expressed support for Pope Benedict XVI. But observers say it is just a matter of time before the upheaval that has struck the United States and Europe hits Latin America. A few cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergy already have surfaced. The most notorious is that of Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ in Mexico, who died in 2008. Other cases have emerged in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, but there have been no widespread accusations.
  • New Zealand's Catholic church is investigating five historical cases of alleged sexual abuse, and victims' counsellors say the situation here is no better than scandal-plagued dioceses overseas. It has been eight years since New Zealand's Catholic church apologised to its parishioners about how it had historically handled sexual abuse cases, after admitting to 38 cases of sexual abuse by priests and other men in its ranks.
  • About 4 percent of Catholic priests have been accused of sexually abusing minors over the past half-century, according to a draft of the first comprehensive study of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the United States. The percentage is higher than many people, including church officials, had anticipated.
  • Predator Priests: Boston's worst abusers preyed on dozens of children.
and recently, from my beloved city of Oakland:
  • Lewis Van Blois, an Oakland attorney who represented six child abuse victims of Bay Area priests, said Saturday that the letter [a letter surfaced that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent to the Oakland Diocese in 1985, saying he needed more time to consider a request from then-Oakland Bishop John Cummins to defrock Stephen Kiesle, who had already pleaded no contest to lewd conduct charges for tying up and molesting two boys at a parish in Union City, where he was a teacher and priest.] wasn't surprising. "We knew that the church hierarchy, from the bishops up to the cardinals all the way to the Vatican, were part of a pattern of cover-up to protect the priest and the church at the expense of the victims," he said. "Not much was being done to get rid of these abusing priests."
[from various news sources online]

Of course, I also believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely ... so something else would also have to change in the governing of the Catholic Church ... like, maybe the practice of true DEMOCRACY.

------- Update -----
  • See Maureen Dowd's recent post at the NYTime's site here. (Although I do NOT like her snarky comment about men in dresses.)
  • Also, women religious in the Catholic Church are doing some resistance of their own. Many are not complying with a new Vatican study that they feel is intrusive, see here.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Ronald Reagan Day passes the CA Senate, barf!

I really must be living in a nightmare and I'm in desperate need of rescue. TPC, where are you? Come wake me up! Tell me I'm just dreaming and it all really is just a bad dream!

So I'm listening to Karel on the radio today and he brought this insanity to my attention where the California Senate unanimously passed a bill honoring Ronald Reagan with his own special day. If this passes I guess we are all supposed to sing his praises for all the great and wonderful things he did for us and the world. You know, things like:

1. Refusing to do anything about the AIDS epidemic and letting thousands of people die from it (including my cousin),

2. Taking away free education in California and putting us on course to making a college education out of reach and impossibly expensive,

3. Closing down our mental institutions and tossing seriously mentally ill people on the streets,

4. Busting unions and sending labor into a virtual death spiral,

5. Raising taxes on the middle class while cutting taxes on the filthy rich,

6. And supporting right wing extremist in Central America who tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of people.

How's that for starters? Anyone want to add to this list? Please do.

And so if this bill goes into law, next year on Ronald Reagan Day I will celebrate by barfing my guts out. How about you?

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